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ASCO 2018 show preview: Deep dish--ASCO brings cancer researchers to Chicago
May 2018
by Mel J. Yeates  |  Email the author
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54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)
McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
June 1-4, 2018
 
Deep dish: ASCO brings cancer researchers to Chicago
Annual clinical cancer research meeting dives deep into discovery
 
There’s plenty to see and learn at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Much like the deep dish pizza is a signature feature of Chicago—the usual home for ASCO’s annual meeting—so too will presenters and attendees be digging deep into all things oncological.
 
According to Dr. Bruce Johnson, president of ASCO, “This year’s theme, ‘Delivering Discoveries: Expanding the Reach of Precision Medicine,’ focuses on making precision medicine a reality by driving progress and expanding its reach so that every patient can have the opportunity to benefit.”
 
Programs begin early, with the pre-annual meeting seminars that occur on May 31 and on June 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. These seminars (“New Drugs in Oncology,” “The Economics of Cancer Care” and “Cancer Immunotherapy Today: Maximizing Patient Outcomes”) offer an in-depth and extended educational opportunity dedicated to topics of interest in the oncology community.
 
As ASCO magazine’s May issue says, “This year, 6,450 abstracts were submitted for consideration by the Scientific Program Committee. [A]pproximately 2,515 abstracts were selected for presentation in oral abstract sessions, clinical science symposia and posters, plus more than 3,350 for online publication.” The 2018 ASCO abstracts will be published on abstracts.asco.org on May 16.
 
Programming for the 2018 meeting will offer:
  • Annual Business Meeting: This meeting is for ASCO Members to hear updates on the state of the society. Members are encouraged to pre-register online to attend this event.
  • Award Lectures: Presented throughout the annual meeting, these lectures recognize distinguished award recipients.
  • Clinical Problems in Oncology Sessions: The sessions combine the use of case-based panel discussion with interactive keypad technology for audience participation. These sessions are ticketed, and require an additional registration fee.
  • Clinical Science Symposia: These sessions supply a forum for science in oncology, providing foundational education on specific topics with the presentation of abstracts. Field experts will place studies in the appropriate context, based on the strength of the evidence, and critically discuss the conclusions in terms of applicability to clinical practice.
  • Education Sessions: These sessions offer interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary explorations of focused areas of clinical oncology. ASCO’s Cancer Education Committee determines the topics and format for sessions that will best serve the educational needs of Annual Meeting attendees. Particular care is taken to ensure that these sessions address issues including surgical, radiation and geriatric oncology; symptom management; health services research; international perspectives; and pathology, as appropriate.
  • Highlights of the Day Sessions: ASCO invites expert discussants to present key findings, put abstracts into clinical context, and provide an overview of the previous day’s oral abstract sessions.
  • Meet the Professor Sessions: These enable interactive discussion between attendees and recognized experts in a variety of subspecialty fields. The format is informal, with emphasis on a face-to-face exchange with the expert. These sessions are ticketed, and require an additional registration fee.
  • Opening Session: This session includes the Presidential Address, Guest Speaker’s Address, and recognition of Fellows of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
  • Oral Abstract Sessions: These will include didactic presentations of abstracts representing important clinical and translational research findings by topic category. Experts in the field are chosen to provide comprehensive themed discussions of the findings from predetermined abstracts.
  • Plenary Session: The Plenary Session, on June 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., includes 15-minute didactic presentations highlighting abstracts of scientific research deemed to have the highest merit and greatest impact on oncology research and practice. Experts will discuss how to place research findings into perspective.
  • Posters and Poster Discussion Sessions: Abstracts will be displayed in poster format. Select posters will be chosen for poster discussion sessions, where experts will highlight the most clinically applicable and novel posters, with abstract authors participating as panel members. These sessions will be followed by networking with discussants and authors.
  • Workshops: The 2018 meeting has also added new annual meeting workshops, which will offer interactive and hands-on teaching to attendees on select topics: “Talking with Patients About Risk and Uncertainty,” “Genomics for Oncologists 101,” “Grant Writing” and “Developing a Survivorship Clinic.” Attendees will join small groups to learn practical take-home skills and tools for their practices. Workshops will be on Friday, June 1, and space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents nearly 45,000 oncology professionals who care for people with cancer. Through research, education and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO strives to create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation.
 
“With more than 39,000 attendees from all over the world, the ASCO Annual Meeting fosters a supportive and innovative environment, offers access to the latest cutting-edge cancer care strategies and allows for first-class networking opportunities with the brightest minds in oncology research, education and care,” says Johnson. “By working with you, we can make a difference in cancer care. I look forward to seeing you in Chicago.”
 

 
Networking Lounges
 
Women’s Networking Center
Developed by the ASCO Professional Development Committee, the Women’s Networking Center offers a space for attendees to gather, discuss and attend informal panel discussions related to pertinent issues that affect women in oncology. Take advantage of this casual setting to connect with professional women in oncology.
 
Trainee and Early-Career Oncologist Member Lounge
Receive advice on career advancement and participate in mock job interviews and informal group discussions led by prominent faculty on professional development topics. The lounge also offers a comfortable place to network with colleagues, check email on available computers, and enjoy complimentary refreshments. ASCO Members enrolled in an oncology training program, residents, medical students, Training Program Directors, and Full ASCO Members within the first three years post training are all welcome.
 
Publications Lounge
The Publications Lounge is a place where authors, editorial board members and reviewers can gather to relax, take a coffee break or network. The lounge will hold small events, such as meet and greets with journal editors. Continental breakfast and light refreshments are served each day. ASCO’s growing roster of cutting-edge journals—including the society’s flagship publication, Journal of Clinical Oncology—serves readers as the most credible, authoritative, peer-reviewed resources for significant clinical oncology research and research that informs the delivery of efficient, high-quality cancer care across the globe.
 

ASCO Special Awards
 
Allen S. Lichter Visionary Leader Award
This award was created in honor of Dr. Allen S. Lichter to recognize ASCO members who have transformed the oncology field or significantly advanced the mission of ASCO, the Conquer Cancer Foundation or CancerLinQ LLC, through their leadership, vision and ability to inspire. The 2018 recipient for this award is Dr. Nancy E. Davidson. Davidson is a world-renowned breast cancer researcher who serves as senior vice president and director of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, president and executive director of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and head of the Division of Oncology at the University of Washington.
 
ASCO-American Cancer Society Award and Lecture
The ASCO-ACS Award and Lecture recognizes significant contributions to cancer prevention and control research or practice. ASCO and the American Cancer Society jointly support this oncology lectureship, with the recipient chosen by ASCO. This year’s recipient is Dr. Karen H. Lu. Lu is senior vice president and chief medical officer ad interim at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
 
B.J. Kennedy Award for Scientific Excellence in Geriatric Oncology
Created in honor of Dr. B.J. Kennedy, this award and lectureship recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the research, diagnosis and treatment of cancer in the elderly, and in bringing an understanding of geriatric oncology to fellows and junior faculty. The 2018 award recipient is Dr. Supriya Gupta Mohile. Mohile is a professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
 
David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture
The David A. Karnofsky Memorial Award and Lecture recognizes an oncologist who has made outstanding contributions to cancer research, diagnosis and/or treatment. This year’s award goes to Dr. Ralph R. Weichselbaum, who is chairman of the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology and co-director of the Ludwig Center for Metastasis Research at the University of Chicago.
 
Distinguished Achievement Award
The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes leadership or mentorship by a scientist, practitioner or researcher in any subspecialty of oncology that has benefited ASCO members and/or their patients. Dr. John Mendelsohn is the 2018 award recipient. Mendelsohn is the L.E. & Virginia Simmons Senior Fellow in the Division of Health and Technology Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute, as well as director of the Zayed Institute for Personalized Cancer Therapy and a professor of genomic medicine at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
 
Ellen L. Stovall Award and Lecture for Advancement of Cancer Survivorship Care
This award was created in memory of Ellen L. Stovall, to recognize an extraordinary individual who has made multiple, significant, and enduring contributions to cancer survivorship care. The recipient would be a leader in the improvement of survivorship care. This year’s award goes to Dr. Patricia A. Ganz, a medical oncologist and renowned advocate for improving the quality of cancer care from prevention through survivorship. At the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, she currently leads the research program focused on patients and survivors.
 
Excellence in Teaching Award
This award recognizes teaching as a vital part of cancer care for the population and for the future of ASCO, and brings awareness to the need for teachers to train more oncologists for the future. The award underscores ASCO’s belief that teaching is as important to the future of cancer medicine as are research, care delivery, and clinical work. Dr. Gregory Peter Kalemkerian is the 2018 recipient. Kalemkerian is a professor of medicine in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, associate division chief for faculty development and education, associate director of the Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program, and disease group lead for the Upper Aerodigestive Cancer Team in the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
 
Gianni Bonadonna Breast Cancer Award and Lecture
This award recognizes an active clinical and/or translational researcher with a distinguished record of accomplishments in advancing the field of breast cancer and with exceptional mentoring abilities. Dr. Gabriel N. Hortobagyi is the 2018 award recipient. Hortobagyi is a professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
 
Humanitarian Award
The Humanitarian Award recognizes an oncologist who personifies ASCO’s mission and values by going above and beyond the call of duty in providing outstanding patient care through innovative means or exceptional service or leadership in the United States or abroad. It is presented to an individual who distinguishes himself/herself through voluntary and non-compensated humanitarian endeavors. This year’s recipient, Dr. Julie Gralow, is the Jill Bennett Endowed Professor of Breast Medical Oncology and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington School of Medicine, a member of the Clinical Research Division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and director of breast medical oncology at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.
 
Partners in Progress Award
The Partners in Progress Award recognizes a person involved in patient advocacy activities that impact public awareness about cancer, its causes, cures or treatment, or in activities that result in additional support either legislatively or fiscally for cancer research, treatment, prevention or care. Danielle Leach is the 2018 award recipient. Leach is the senior director of advocacy and government relations of St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an organization committed to funding promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors long, healthy lives.
 
Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture
The Pediatric Oncology Award and Lecture recognizes a pediatric oncologist who has demonstrated outstanding leadership or achievement in the field. Dr. Gregory H. Reaman is this year’s recipient. Reaman is the associate director for oncology sciences in the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, as well as the associate director (acting) for pediatric oncology in the Oncology Center of Excellence at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is a professor of pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
 
Public Service Award
This award recognizes an individual involved in legislative, political action or community service activities that impact public awareness about cancer, its causes and cures, or in treatment or activities which result in additional support, either legislatively or fiscally, for the field of cancer research, treatment, prevention or care. The 2018 award recipient is Dr. Gideon Michael Blumenthal, who is deputy office director (acting) of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products and the associate director for precision oncology in the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence.
 
Science of Oncology Award and Lecture
Created in 2005, the Science of Oncology Award and Lecture is presented annually in recognition of a recipient’s outstanding contributions to basic or translational research in cancer. Dr. Douglas Lowy is this year’s recipient. Lowy is the deputy director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health. As chief of the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology in the Center for Cancer Research at the NCI, Lowy’s research includes the biology of papillomaviruses and the regulation of normal and neoplastic cell growth.
 
Women Who Conquer Cancer Mentorship Awards
The awards recognize extraordinary female leaders in oncology and role models who have excelled as a mentor and have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the professional development of women colleagues as clinicians, educators and researchers in oncology. The awards seek to recognize and promote the work of women mentors in oncology and ultimately narrow career gender disparities through the mentorship and professional development of women oncology professionals. The Hologic Inc Endowed WWCC Mentorship Award goes to Dr. Lori J. Pierce, a professor with tenure of radiation oncology and vice provost for academic and faculty affairs at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. The International WWCC Mentorship Award will be presented to Dr. Rejin Kebudi, who is a professor in pediatric hematology-oncology at the Istanbul University, Cerrahpasa, Faculty of Medicine and the Istanbul University Oncology Institute.
 
NOTE: The recipients of the Joseph V. Simone Award and Lecture for Excellence in Quality and Safety in the Care of Patients with Cancer and the Walther Cancer Foundation Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Endowed Award and Lecture had not yet been announced as of the publication deadline for this issue of DDNews.
 

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